Lasius Umbratus

A social Parasite - Beginner (once founded)


PLEASE NOTE: When we refer to the number of workers in the product options, this could be host niger workers or umbratus workers or a mix of both.


Umbratus are a beautiful amber coloured species of ant which is much less common that Niger, Flavus or Grandis despite being found in all the same environments as them. This is because they primarily live underground and many die in search of (or obtaining) a host colony to steal.


Lasius Umbratus are unable to found a colony independently and require workers to provide food. Taking over existing brood and workers from another queen provides the workforce needed to kick start a colony.


Founding a colony for any queen is risky to say the least. It is believed up to 97% of queens do not make it past 12 months since nuptials. After waking up from hibernation in March the Lasius Niger queens from the previous July are hard at work sending out nanitics and raising brood to bring their colony to life. Inadvertently one of their biggest threats is about to have a nuptial flight too.


In roughly May, Lasius Umbratus queens leave their nests and knowing a full niger colony means certain death, a new colony with less than 100 workers means she can deliberately get attacked by them and flee. After several attacks she adopts enough scent to enter the nest (fooling the workers) and she kills the queen, adopting the workers as her own taking and taking place as the new queen.


The Umbratus queen has a new workforce and can lay her eggs knowing they will be taken care of.


The reason you may not notice them is because they live almost exclusively underground, subterranean aphids are farmed between root systems to provide sugars and soil dwelling insect provide their proteins.


They are a fascinating and pretty species which although difficult to found (you need host workers and brood) they will reward you with a wonderful colony if you get it right.


Colony Size

6,000 - 9,000 workers


Age Up to 16 years

Monogyne - one queen per nest

Social Parasite - needs workers and brood to found colony


Room Temperature 21 to 24 degrees


October to March at 5 to 8 degrees

Polymorphic (Different size casts)


Sting | Bite | Spray



Insects, Sugars, Carbs

Nest Type

Acrylic, Sand, Earth, Ytong, Plaster, Glass


Queen - 7mm-8mm

Worker - 3mm-5mm


Egg to Adult Worker - 5 to 6 weeks

Lasius Umbratus - Social Parasite

PriceFrom £18.99
  • Although legal to release Umbratus into the wild we would kindly ask you contact us first, if you can no longer care for them we will take them back for free. Releasing is far too stressful for a captive colony.